Domestic Gal

Pot Roast Recipe for Your Instant Pot

By December 2, 2017 Food

Pot Roast Recipe for Your Instant Pot

Just recently, I wrote a post describing exactly what an instant pot is.  So today, since it’s so chilly out (yes, we Californians get to experience winter too lol!), I thought I would share the recipe that I recently used to make this amazing pot roast in my Pressure Cooker XL

This pot roast recipe is ready in under an hour but tastes like it has been cooking all day. This is a perfect meal for a cold winter night.

Getting Started

For this roast, the only vegetables that I used were yellow onions, carrots and russet potatoes. You could also add green beans or use red potatoes instead of russets. Regardless of what type of vegetables you choose to use, be sure to cut them on the larger size (like I did in the pic above) so they don’t dissolve into mush.

Adding in the Flavor

Although you can make a pot roast in the instant pot without browning the meat first, I always brown my meat first.  I have tried cooking it both ways and found that browning the meat makes the roast so much tastier.

When I made this pot roast, I browned it in another pan on my stove top (I guess I was in the mood to wash extra dishes 😉 ) If you aren’t in the mood to do extra dishes, this can be done directly in the instant pot (more on this below).

Once the pan was heated up (2-3 minutes) I added the olive oil and minced garlic.

If you are browning your meat directly in the instant pot, just set the instant pot  to the meat/chicken button (I have an older version of the Power Pressure Cooker XL  which doesn’t have a sauté button-the meat/chicken setting is best for this since it has the longest cook time) and with the inner pot in place, cook the meat (with the top of the pot off) until it is brown on all sides.

Let the Magic Begin!

Once the meat is browned, scrape all of the brown bits from the bottom of the pan, add the remaining ingredients to the pot and stir to combine.

Place the lid on the instant pot, lock the lid and switch the pressure release valve to closed.

Press the MEAT/CHICKEN button and then press the TIME ADJUSTMENT button until you reach 20 minutes.

Once the timer reaches 0, the cooker will automatically switch to KEEP WARM. Press the CANCEL button. Switch the pressure release valve to open (see below).

When the steam is completely released, remove the lid.

Let’s Eat!

That’s all there is to it.  Pretty simple huh?  I like to serve my pot roast with mashed potatoes (I know, I know carb overload which is why I didn’t when I made this one), but you could also serve it with a green salad or even with just the carrots and potatoes like I did.



  • 1 (2 to 3-lb.) boneless beef chuck roast
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow onion cut into wedges
  • 2 medium russet potatoes, cubed
  • 4 large carrots, peeled & sliced into 1 inch chunks
  • 2 celery stalks cut into large pieces
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano leaves
  • 1 tsp dried thyme leaves


  1. Pre-heat the instant pot so that it is ready to sauté the meat by turning it on and pressing the CHICKEN/MEAT button.
  2. Add the olive oil, garlic and meat to the pot and brown  (with the top of the pot off) for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Once the meat is brown, scrape the bottom to loosen any brown bits from when you browned the meat (this is where all the flavor comes from 🙂 )
  4. Add onion, potato, carrots, celery, broth, oregano and thyme.
  5. Place the lid on the instant pot, lock the lid and switch the pressure release valve to closed (see picture above).
  6. Press the TIME ADJUSTMENT  button to set the pot for 20 minutes.
  7. Switch the pressure release button to open (see picture above)  to release the steam.
  8. Once the steam is completely released, open the pot.
  9. Serve warm!

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What is an Instant Pot Anyway?

By November 26, 2017 Food, General

What is an Instant Pot Anyway?

Me and Infomercials

I will say, I am a SUCKER for infomercials. You can pretty much sell me anything in the middle of the night lol! A couple of years ago, I was up late watching TV when I came across an infomercial for an amazing product – the Power Pressure Cooker XL.  Although I do try really hard to curb my informercial addiction-this pressure cooker (also known today as an instant pot) was way too good of an offer to pass up.



Today’s Pressure Cooker – Also Known as the Instant Pot

Now this pressure cooker here is not your mother’s old pressure cooker.  You know- the big heavy one without the timer that could explode if you didn’t put enough water in it or you didn’t turn it off in time (true story-lol!).

The Power Pressure Cooker XL is a multi-cooker (also referred to as an instant pot) that does the job of a slow cooker, electric pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, sauté/browning pan, and warming pot. It’s a single appliance that does the job of seven different kitchen appliances or tools.

So Many Possibilities

I have had this pressure cooker for about a year now and have used it to cook so many dishes.  It’s been used in. my house to pressure cook beans, oatmeal, potatoes and roast-just to name a few.  We have also slow cooked chili,  chicken soup and stew and used it to steam vegetables and cook rice.

This Thanksgiving, I made our mashed potatoes in it and they were AMAZING.  I couldn’t believe how fluffy and moist the potatoes turned out.  The best part of this though was that I didn’t have to keep a close eye on the potatoes.  This freed up a lot of time.  I was able to use this time to prepare the other dishes I was serving.  After seeing how easy it is to make these delicious potatoes in the pressure cooker, I will definitely never make mashed potatoes in a pot again.

In addition to what I have already mentioned, the Power Pressure Cooker XL can be used for canning.  I have never canned anything before, but after seeing how well all of the other features of this appliance work, I am really tempted to can something.

How Does It Compare?

The Power Pressure Cooker XL is the only pressure cooker I have ever used, so I can’t say how it compares to other brands.  I can, however, say that the Pressure Cooker XL is easy to use and to clean.  It also cooks great food in a fraction of the time that it would take using a conventional oven or stove top.

Do you have a pressure cooker?  If so, I would love to hear what brand you love the best.



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Real Estate Investing- Getting Started

By October 26, 2017 General, Real Estate

Real Estate Investing- Getting Started on the Road to Riches

I really want to make money in real estate investing.  To achieve this goal, I have been learning about real estate investing in my spare time.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I am doing this while also working towards getting my California real estate license by studying California’s Real Estate Principles.

A few weeks ago, I received Larry Goins’ Filthy Riches real estate investment program in the mail.

The Filthy Riches investment concept is basically a proven method of buying cheap $5,000 houses and then reselling them at 3 to 6 times what you paid without cash, credit or a buyers list.

Now That’s Great Service!

During the first week that I received the Filthy Riches program, I received a call from my assigned Education Consultant- Dean. I was so happy to receive the call since I had begun reading the main manual and had several questions. I wanted to know things like: Is it possible for me to find one of these real estate deals in California? When will I need a proof of funds letter? When would it be necessary for me to obtain transactional funding?

Dean was very helpful.

The first thing that Dean did during the call, was to make sure that I was aware of all 10 ways that I could get my course deposit fee refunded. I was pretty impressed by this since it definitely demonstrated to me that Larry’s folks weren’t just looking out for themselves and were trying to help me succeed.

Money Back Guarantee

The 10 ways to get your refund are as follows:

  1. Bird dog a Filthy Riches house for Larry Goins’ group to buy or…
  2. Buy a Filthy Riches financed house from the group or…
  3. Buy a Filthy Riches note from the group or…
  4. Sell a Filthy Riches note to the group or…
  5. Become a private money lender for the group or…
  6. Buy a wholesale house from the group or…
  7. Sell a wholesale house to the group or…
  8. Let Larry Goins fund your first Filthy Riches deal or…
  9. Refer 3 Filthy Riches Customers or…
  10. Do a deal and send a testimonial

Taking Action One Step at a Time

After Dean covered the various ways that I could get my money refunded, we went over the Filthy Riches Action Plan.


As simple as this may appear, I find this action plan to be the most useful part of this program so far.  Honestly, without this, I think that I would have been completely overwhelmed by the sight of everything contained in the Filthy Riches program.

This action plan breaks the entire Filthy Riches program down into tasks which, to me, makes it way more doable.

Can I Get a Deal in California?

After covering the refund options and the action plan, Dean asked me if I had any questions.  I told Dean that I hadn’t had a chance to read much so far but did have a few general questions.

The first thing I wanted to know was, “Can I get this kind of real estate investment deal in California?”  As I had suspected, according to Dean, it would be pretty much impossible to find a Filthy Rich deal in California.

According to Dean, the rule of thumb is to search for these properties in states that are east of Colorado. I was a bit disappointed about this since I was hoping to be able to personally view the property when I close my first deal.  Hopefully, I will come across some awesome realtors who will be willing to take some video footage and pictures of the houses that I am interested in buying.

I went on to ask Dean the rest of my questions which he was able to answer. We then ended the call and Dean let me know that he would be calling again the following week.

So Far So Good!

Although I have just started the Filthy Riches program, I have already covered a great deal of information.  I have read the sections covering mobile homes, the types of homes to look for and the various ways to profit from the purchase/sale.

The material is simply written which makes the complex nature of the subject matter a bit less confusing. Compared to the California Real Estate Principles textbook, the Filthy Riches materials are written much simpler.  For me, this makes it so much easier to understand.

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Real Estate Investing – Filthy Riches

By September 26, 2017 General, Real Estate

Real Estate Investing – Filthy Riches

As I mentioned in a previous post, I really want to get involved in real estate investing.

Although I recently signed up for an online California real estate course, I still have yet to start it.

I guess the real problem is that I need to make money now!

I have a friend who obtained his real estate license a few years ago.

Not too long ago, he and I met up and chatted about how things were going in the business. For him personally, things were going great. He told me that he had tripled the amount of money he had been making while employed by the “secure” government.


Getting Over the Hurdles

When I told him I was thinking about getting my real estate license, he was excited for me. He then shared some important advice. He told me that getting started was not easy; there was currently a lot of competition and the start up/annual costs were steep (e.g., real estate courses, state exam application, fingerprinting, Board of Realtors membership, Multiple Listing Service (MLS) membership, lockbox key, errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, brokerage membership fees, marketing fees, etc.).

Well…that was not what I wanted to hear. At the time of our discussion, I wasn’t in a great place and my only focus was replacing the income I was currently receiving from my 9 to 5 so I could quit. At that point nothing else really mattered. I had been working for the same branch of government for the last 27 years and-to put it mildly-I was completely BURNED OUT!

To give up everything I had centered my life around was a difficult choice, but I was done with the rat race and I just couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something more.


After talking to my real estate agent friend, I realized that becoming a successful real estate agent was not going to happen overnight. If I was going to be a successful real estate investor, I would need to be diligent and focused. Even though this is the case, I was still interested in getting my license. Getting my license would add one more component to my future financial freedom. So, I went ahead and registered for an online course.

Just after doing this, I came across an ad for one of Larry Goins’ webinars. Before discovering this ad, I had never heard of Larry before- but after watching his video, I wanted to know more. I signed up for Larry’s webinar on his Filthy Riches program which was scheduled for a few days later and guess what? I actually watched it!!

Like I said before, I am a sucker for products with money-back guarantees and the Filthy Rich program has one-actually, not just one-there are ten (yes 10!) different ways you can get your money back. One of those guarantees is that if you don’t make at least $12,000 in the first 12 months, you can return the course and get your money back.  Who does this? Well, Larry does.


It seemed like a no-brainer to me, so I signed up. I received the materials in just a few days.

As a student of the Filthy Riches program, you are personally assigned an Education Consultant who will call you to get you started with the course. Now that’s customer service!!

I am really excited about this program and can’t wait to get started. Stay tuned for more updates as I embark upon my path to financial freedom!!

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My Real Estate Adventure Begins

By September 22, 2017 General, Real Estate

My Real Estate Adventure Begins

The Free-but not Really Free Real Estate Workshop

For some time now, I have wanted to get involved in some form of real estate.

At the beginning of this year, I came across an advertisement for a workshop on real estate investing. It looked interesting and I had A LOT of free time on my hands (stay tuned for that story – it’s REALLY good 🙂 ) so I signed up for and attended the “free” workshop.

At the “free” workshop, I heard enough about wholesaling to seriously pique my interest, but definitely not enough to even get started.  At the end of the workshop, a 3-day seminar was introduced (SURPRISE!! – There is ALWAYS a catch!).


Hook, Line and Sinker

Since the suspense was KILLING me and I am a sucker for money-back guarantees (and infomercials lol!)…I paid the $495 fee to register for the 3-day “Academy.”

I attended the first day, which was great-tons of information about wholesaling.

The second day-not so much… Except for that I learned that if I spent another $2500+, I could really learn everything I needed to know to make money wholesaling houses.  Plus there was a lot of time spent during the second day on unrelated topics including the promotion of a third-world charity.  Now I believe in paying it forward and giving back, but that was not what I was there for and I have a healthy disdain for false advertisement.

But wait-let’s back up just a bit… remember that money-back guarantee that I mentioned earlier?  Well, it was a legit money-back guarantee, but in order to take advantage of that guarantee, you had to request it before the end of the first day (Can you say GOTCHA??).





Here’s the Catch

By the conclusion of the second day, just after learning that if I wanted to know EVERYTHING about wholesaling I would have to sign up for yet one more training program, I had enough.  I felt duped.  Because I felt duped-I chose to cut my losses right then and there and not return for the third day.  Not sure if what I missed out on during the third day would have made up for the second day-that I will never know-but I doubt it.

I don’t consider this experience a complete waste of time or even money since you don’t know what you don’t know-and I knew nothing about this particular real estate investment concept before attending the academy.  Plus, because I was now aware of the wholesaling concept, I was able to research it a bit more.

If all else Fails- Google It!

When I started researching the wholesaling topic, it quickly became quite overwhelming.  Thankfully, every video I came across on the topic warned that it could be overwhelming but not to let it stop you.  Well, it kind of did get to me.  It didn’t really stop me, but it did stall me a bit, lol.  It just seemed like a lot to do alone without having done it before AND being completely new to the world of real estate.  I mean, I had handled the purchase of both of my homes, but that’s only one small part of real estate.  Signing a contract, that I wrote up myself using a template I got at a real estate academy, to buy a house and then turning around (very quickly) and selling that contract to a rehabber just didn’t seem like something I should or even could do.

I say could because I like to sleep on any kind of decision-even something as simple as which type of creamer I am going to have in my coffee tomorrow.  I just couldn’t see myself making decisions on the fly without knowing EVERYTHING there is to know about real estate first.

Sooo long story short-my indecisive nature led me to deciding to finally sign up to get a real estate license.

Becoming Licensed as a Real Estate Agent in California

In California, the Department of Real Estate requires completion of the following coursework to become eligible to take the State’s Real Estate Examination:

Successful completion of three college-level courses is required to quality for a real estate salesperson examination.

  1. Real Estate Principles and
  2. Real Estate Practice and
  3. One course from the following list:
  • Real Estate Appraisal
  • Property Management
  • Real Estate Finance
  • Real Estate Economics
  • Legal Aspects of Real Estate
  • Real Estate Office Administration
  • General Accounting
  • Business Law
  • Escrows
  • Mortgage Loan Brokering and Lending
  • Computer Applications in Real Estate
  • Common Interest Developments

I had number 3 covered since I had recently taken a Business Law course-so all I needed to take was the Real Estate Principles and Real Estate Practice classes.

Online Certification Process

Some time ago, while doing a search for some real estate info, I came across several companies that offered the real estate courses online.  I read the reviews of  a few and decided to go with Licensing Solutions.

My materials were delivered a few weeks ago, but haven’t had the chance to get started.  I plan to start soon though, so keep an eye out for future posts on this 🙂








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The Pantry Moth Infestation

By September 1, 2017 General

Our Pantry Moth Problem

Some time ago, while living in our first home, we had a really bad pantry moth infestation problem. It was horrible! I had no idea where the moths came from nor did I know how to get rid of them.

Before I go any further, let me explain how I found out that we had pantry moths. (Let me warn you know before you continue reading-this post may contain descriptions and pictures that might nauseate you-lol.)

One night I was making Rice A Roni when I noticed a bit of movement. When I looked closer, I realized that there were maggot looking worms in the rice. I will spare you the gross image of a maggot, but if you have never seen one, I can tell you that unless you have very good vision, they could pass for a grain of rice.

Ughhh!! It was awful! Needless to say-we ate out that night.

Now when I said some time ago, I meant it-this was before we were able to hop on a computer and figure just about anything out.

Not knowing what to do, I figured I would just throw EVERYTHING out and start over. I also invested in a ton of containers like these to store all of my rice and flour in:

After tossing everything out and cleaning all of the cabinets thoroughly, I put all of my new storage containers, holding the dried goods, back into the cabinets. Luckily, this seemed to do the trick.

Fast forward to now-17 years later. About six months ago, I started seeing a few pantry moths here and there flying around my kitchen. I instantly began to freak out especially because I am much older now and my vision is horrible (if you are over 40 you definitely understand lol). I started thinking back to the last time we had Rice A Roni and if I had inspected the rice carefully enough. Then I started pulling everything out of the pantry-just as I had done before. It worked then, so why wouldn’t I repeat the same process? As I was removing everything from the pantry, I discovered that the moths had created this disgusting web home in an old opened jar of peanuts. I was horrified. I began to grow a bit more concerned but figured that just throwing everything out would work. Well, it didn’t. A few days later, there were more than a few moths flying around my kitchen and then I started seeing them in the laundry room. The kicker was when I saw one upstairs in my bedroom! I immediately started researching this pesky insect and found the following:

-Pantry moths are not clothing moths-you cannot kill them using moth balls
-Pantry moths love flour, whole grains, almonds, raisins, pet food and other dry goods
-The best way to get rid of them is with pheromone

After a thorough online search of products I decided to purchase Dr. Killigan’s Premium Pantry Moth Traps.

Am I glad I did! After just a couple of days, I checked the traps and this is what I found…

I was shocked! That is, I knew we had a moth problem, but not to that extent. I opened every one of those moth traps (there are 6 in a pack) and placed them all over the house.

It has now been a couple of weeks and I still see a moth from time to time, but not nearly as many as before. These traps work great and are really easy to use (not to mention their nice packaging). You just open the trap, peel it apart and fold it. The pheromone is right in the sticky glue. The best part is, these pantry moth traps have a 100% money back guarantee. You can’t beat that.

I am happy to report that it looks like we are on our way to being moth free. Thank goodness!!

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Happy Monday!

By June 12, 2017 General

Hi there,
Hope everyone is having a fabulous Monday.

I just found out about a really cool site called Bloglovin’.  It’s like a Pinterest for bloggers.  Pretty cool-you can search for any type of blog that interests you.  I just added my blog to this site.  If you would like to check it out, you can do so using the following link:

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Wishing you an amazing week!  Thanks for visiting.

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Amador City

By June 10, 2017 General, Travel

A Visit to Amador City

A few miles further north from Drytown, on Highway 49,  is Amador City.

Amador City is adorable.   Lots of cute little shops right in the middle of a neighborhood of beautiful historic homes.


Any Time is a Good Time for Wine

By this time, it was a bit warmer out and we were thirsty.  You can imagine our excitement when we spotted the Legendre Cellars tasting room. 

We stopped in for a tasting and were not disappointed.  We tried a few reds and whites as we listened to the owner tell us all about the fermentation process of each wine.  The last wine that we tasted was a dessert wine.  Normally, I am not a big fan of dessert wines-but this wine was really good and it didn’t hurt that it was chilled perfectly.

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Drytown – Next and Last Stop

By June 10, 2017 General, Thrifting, Travel

Drytown – Next and Last Stop

Treasure Hunting in Drytown

As we left the first shop in Drytown, the owner directed us to E T’s Antiques which was just next door.


The first thing that caught my eye as we walked in the door was this awesome Victrola.  It was love at first sight!

Next we came across these cards kept in a the glass counter display case.

These cards were hilarious!  The lady working at the counter told us that they came from a vintage arcade game.  Probably something that looked like this:

Made sometime in the 1930’s, the cards described either a future husband or wife along with their future children.  One of the cards listed this description for a future wife, “Your future wife will be an author with some very definite ideas.  She will retain her maiden name and live in her own apartment.  You will be her once-in-a-while, and she will allow you to visit her between chapters at which time you will be able to walk her dog around the block and be generally over-hauled for your shortcomings. But be of good cheer for you will have 3 little short stories to make you happy.”  Along side the picture of the future wife were three children.

After perusing the aisles of the antique shop we circled back to the area of the store where the Victrola was.  I asked the lady at the counter if the phonograph worked and she said it did.  I then asked for a demo.  The sound that came from that Victrola was amazing.  It was as if we had traveled back in time.  I loved it so much I couldn’t let myself leave without buying it.  I am now the owner of a 1915 Victrola and I absolutely love it!!


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Drytown, California

By June 6, 2017 Thrifting, Travel

Road Trip to Drytown, California

The first stop we made, while visiting Amador County, was at the Old Well Café in Drytown, California which is located on Highway 49.  I have driven by this place several times; however, this was the first time that I actually ate there.  It is a very small café and was surprisingly busy for a Friday morning.   From what I could tell, most of the customers were locals.  I ordered the French toast, eggs, bacon (extra crispy) and coffee- all of which were good.

Just a short walk from the Old Well Café are two antique shops.  At the first shop, we fell in love with this amazing antique Singer.  I really wanted to buy it, but I already have more sewing machines than I should 🙂

There were several other really cool items, but ultimately I settled on this antique leather bound miniature scrapbook that had never been used before.




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